Thoughts on John Lee Hancock’s THE BLINDSIDE

I had no plans to see this film. I was talked in to it by people whose cinematic opinions I trust. Once I was in the theater and saw John Lee Hancock’s name come up on the screen, I felt much better. Hancock was at the helm for a film that has impacted me greatly in my life, THE ROOKIE. Those that know me might find it a little hard to believe that a Disney film has set with me so profoundly even years after first seeing it. However, the simplicity, universal themes and emotional honesty in that film are rare and will not soon be forgotten by this writer.

BLINDSIDE uses a similar formulae. It is based on a true story of an unlikely sportsman who overcomes impossible odds to live out their dream. I have not always been a big fan of Sandra Bullock (save for CRASH and a few other performances). However, she turns in an honest and respectable portrayal. The rest of the cast (including a surprising solid performance from Tim McGraw) gives us pure humanity while walking that line between sentimentality and inspiration.

What I appreciated most about the film, however, is the fact that the main character’s faith was handled so realistically yet so beautifully. As a person of faith myself, it is rare to see this sort of balance struck. Hancock, who I believe is a person of faith, truly impressed me with his abilities in this area. Rarely in film do we see a person committed to a specific faith in a story that lives that faith out in a way that is not preachy. Even more rare is the story that makes me examine my own faith and how I live that out, without making me want to vomit.

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